The rainy season begins in the Autumn, and for four months the earth gets saturated with rainwater. Today, the 15th of Shevat, the earth has enough water to grow its fruits for this year. That is why traditionally today is called the new year for trees. Trees are likened to human beings. Trees have roots, trunk and branches, and fruits. So too, we have our roots, which is our faith in G-d Almighty who provides all that we have. Strong roots are important as they protect the tree from falling and it holds it up strong. Even in the time of the Tsunami, many trees survived the gushing waters. The roots, nourish the entire tree. Our faith is actually what holds us up and nourishes us spiritually, all the time, especially in tough times. Our fruits are our good deeds and kindness, how we impact the people around us. Fruits make new trees, so there is continuous life. So too our good deeds are eternal and have an everlasting effect. One good deed, and an act of kindness on another person, creates a ripple effect in this world. I would like to take this opportunity and thank Niita san for his great generosity to bring us beautiful vegetables and fruits from Ibaraki, such as Satsumaimo, Kikuiimo, Kabu, Icho, kaki, tomatoes, watermelon, Leeks, and many more types. He has been bringing us many times a year, and we have been sharing it with our family and friends for Shabbat and Holiday meals. Today is the New Year for Trees.
Recently Rabbi Edery visited a Green tea factory in Fukuoka, Japan to supervise the process and give kosher certification.
The company is one of the biggest and most famous in Japan. It has a long time reputation for the finest and tastiest green tea.
A big thank you to Muto san for organizing and being on the forefront to creating a kosher infrastructure in Japan.
Last week, Rabbi Binyomin Edery took Chaya Mushka and Pinchas to N.Y, for Pinchas Eliyahu’s first Cheder visit. It was very special and moving occasion.
The children were pleasantly surprised to see so many Jewish people and so much kosher food.
Hachnasa Lacheder, is the first day that the father brings his son to study Torah at the Cheder- Jewish school.
It is a very holy and special tradition that was done more that two thousand years ago, and brought down in holy books by many Tzadikim, holy people.
On this day, the father wraps the child in a Talit, prayer shawl, and brings him to the Melamed- school teacher. The teacher puts the boy on his lap, puts honey on the Aleph Bet, and goes through all the Hebrew letters and vowels. Then the boy licks the honey, to tastel how the learning of Torah is so sweet.
Honey cake is then brought and an egg, with verses from the Torah inscribed on them, and the child eats them. Candies are thrown, and refreshments are given out to the children of the class. Coins are distributed and the children put them in a Charity box.
The whole day, the parents are careful that the child should not look at unholy things. When he leaves the Cheder, he is also covered with the prayer shawl.
This practice has a very strong impact on the young child. The sages write that one who follows this tradition causes an openness of heart for the learning of the Torah in the child.
Throughout the month of Elul, Rabbi Binyomin Edery goes all around Tokyo, and the outskirts to blow the Shofar for people. In homes, offices, hotel lobbies, exhibitions, or just on the street, the Rabbi blows, to awaken the souls of Japan. The listeners are moved and inspired.
This week, there was an annual Gift Show in Tokyo Big Sight. Rabbi Edery met many Jewish people, some from Tokyo, and some from overseas. One of the exhibitors commented : ”to hear the shofar in Tokyo, within all the materialism, truly awakens the deepest part of you. That is when you really see that G-d is everywhere, and how much we are so connected to Him.”
May we hear the Shofar heralding the coming of the Rebbe Melech Hamoshiach NOW!
Next Sunday, September 20, make sure to take your family to hear the Shofar, at Chabad House.
In the pictures above, you can see Rabbi Edery blowing at the Gift Show.